Can something be “blacker” than something else? How common are single-word comparatives and superlatives for color-designating adjectives?

Merriam-Webster implies that the comparative and superlative for black are blacker and blackest. However, my native British colleague says he would never used blacker, only more black.

How common is using single-word comparatives and superlatives for color-designating adjectives? Is it used for some colors only (like white) whilst not for others (like black)?

Would you use the following sentences, or would you replace the single-word comparatives and superlatives with their compound version (more …, most …)?

Our toner is blacker than the ones from other companies.

Eco-terrorists fight for greener world.

After using this toothpaste your teeth will be whiter.

He is undoubtedly a nobleman with the bluest possible blood.


Using colors as adjectives, I would use the adjectives rules.

The basic rule for adjectives is :

  • short adjectives: add [“-er”,] “-est”
  • long adjectives: use [“more”,] “most”

And short and long adjectives definition :

Short adjectives

  1. one syllable adjectives : old, fast
  2. 2-syllable adjectives ending in -y : happy, easy

Long adjectives

  1. 2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y : modern, pleasant
  2. all adjectives of 3 or more syllables : expensive, intellectual


But it’s true that the “most black” tends to be increasingly used, I would say that is an incorrect usage.

Source : Link , Question Author : Honza Zidek , Answer Author : Yohann V.

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